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Fragment of Tomb Relief

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Funerary Gallery 2, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
This scene represents sacrifice and offering. At the bottom right, a man leads a calf, which is also shown slaughtered (just above and to the right). Two seated women and a standing man (farther above) observe the sacrifice and offer bread. Such scenes could occur in daily life, at funerals as part of the ritual, and as a regular observance after the deceased was buried.
MEDIUM Limestone
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1979–1801 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 12
    PERIOD Middle Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 13 11/16 x 25 9/16 x 2 9/16 in. (34.7 x 65 x 6.5 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Rectangular fragment of a tomb relief. The scene represented is one of sacrifice and offering. At the extreme left of the slab is preserved the front half of a man who holds out before him a conical loaf of bread. Before and above him is an inscription. To the right of this figure, and on a level with him, is a trussed goose above which is a bound duck. Above these two birds is a seated woman, facing right, before whom is an inscription contained on the sides by border lines. To the right of the trussed goose and duck is the representation of a man striding towards the left. He holds before him a tray supporting three conical loaves of bread. In his other hand he holds a rope which is attached to the neck of a cow which he is leading. Before the figure of this man is an inscription. To the right of this last figure, and above the cow which is being led, is the representation of a man (') slaughtering a bound cow. The butcher and his victim stand upon their own base line. Above the sacrificed cow is an inscription. To the right of the representation of the butchering is the representation of a female figure who witnesses the slaughtering. Before her, enclosed on two sides by border lines is an inscription. The right edge of this scene is formed by a column of text. A lower border for this column of text, and for the entire scene is provided by a double band pattern at the bottom of the slab. The representations are done in a shallow modified-sunk relief with a minimum of interior details. The two seated female figures are treated almost like large hieroglyphs. The inscriptions are done in plain incised relief. There is an oblong depression in the upper left hand corner of the slab. All four edges of the slab are fairly flat with tool marks visible. There are also large scratches on the surface bearing the representation. Condition: Chips in edges; all surfaces scratched.
    CAPTION Fragment of Tomb Relief, ca. 1979–1801 B.C.E. Limestone, 13 11/16 x 25 9/16 x 2 9/16 in. (34.7 x 65 x 6.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.1349E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 37.1349E_NegA_glass_bw.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 37.1349E_NegA_glass_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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